Football: Get your mind off World Cup ceremonies, Loew tells Germans

Football: Get your mind off World Cup ceremonies, Loew tells Germans

BERLIN - Germany have seen a dip in form since winning the World Cup in July and a 4-0 Euro 2016 qualifying win over Gibraltar on Friday was proof the players need to get their mind off the awards and start playing again, coach Joachim Loew said.

The Germans had pledged a goal bonanza against the European minnows after losing to Poland and drawing with Ireland in October.

But they only netted three times with a fourth goal coming from a Gibraltar own goal with whistles and jeers to be heard as the World Cup winners walked off the pitch in Nuremberg.

"I think there were a lot of award ceremonies and celebrations," Loew said after spending much of the week with the team in Berlin, honoured by the country's president and attending a World Cup movie premiere.

"Now we need to get all of this out of our heads at the end of this World Cup year, draw a line and prepare properly for our next tournament."

The Germans, second in Group D on seven points along with Ireland and Scotland with Poland top on 10, were the only ones attacking with all 11 Gibraltar players in or around their own box.

"We did not hold our positions. True it is not always easy when you have some many people at the back. There was little space but that's where we have to have a high tempo."

"There you need one-on-one situations but we instead stopped and played the ball back."

With German media expecting a double-digit scoreline, the four-time World Cup winners were instead lacklustre for much of the second half, running out of ideas.

Instead of stretching the game over the wings to open up Gibraltar, they piled bodies through the middle in an already crowded area.

"At times there were 18 players in that middle. For some players I expected a lot more," said Loew. "A stronger drive towards goal, more finishes because our opponent did not do much else except wait at the edge of the box. We need to be able to solve these things better."

With European champions Spain awaiting for a friendly in Vigo on Nov 18, Germany are eager to round off the year with a positive result against the team that had won the previous three major international trophies.

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